Home Educating with special needs and disabilities
Home Educating and SEN/additional support needs.
There are a growing number of families choosing to Home Educate because their child’s needs are not being met in school.
Some families feel like they have no choice, that it’s a last resort, others realise early on that their child will not thrive in a school environment.
Whatever the reason, you are likely to find that Home Education allows you to support your child and quite often their needs change and you learn new ways to support them.
What to do if services are refused/withdrawn
Some services are funded through EHCP, through the NHS or the LA education budget, if it is the latter you will need to ask the SEN team to assign funding/make referrals to the relevant team.
If a service is refusing on the grounds of being Home Educated, it is important to say, in writing, ‘you have a legal duty to all children regardless of the educational venue’.
No service can refuse to carry out assessments if you offer an alternative to school, i.e. Home Ed group, other social groups, at home etc.
You may need to ask the school nurse (they cover Home Educated children) or the GP to do a referral to a service.
SEN general info
- Home Educating a child with SEN or from a special school is possible, you, the parent will be legally responsible in ensuring the education is suitable to the child’s age, ability, aptitude and special needs.
- The LA EHE team have no more rights to monitor or demand info from you. Though the deregistration process is different.
- You will be asked to take part in the EHCP review. This doesn’t have to be in person, and you can request that the EHE person not be present during reviews.
- When writing your annual EHE report make sure you address how SEN are being met.
- If you haven’t deregistered yet you need to be aware that if your child is in a special school you will need to write to the LA to ask that they remove your child’s name from the school role. Unless in Scotland, in which case you follow the usual withdrawal process. Read more…
- Whilst LAs cannot refuse without a good reason, some LAs are reluctant and attempt to say no. If you need support through this please do Contact Us
- If your child is in mainstream school with a statement/EHCP you have to send a deregistration letter into school, no notice or permission is needed, and you do not need to send your child back. You do not need to have an EHCP review before the deregistration is actioned.
- The LA may bring the annual EHCP review forwards.
- Dependent on the LA, some services may be withdrawn, such as Occupational Therapy. You can discuss this with the service and ask for your GP, or other medical professional, to refer you to the service through health services rather than education. If you have any questions on this please do contact us.
- The EHCP should be changed to say ‘Educated at home’ or similar.
- You are not obliged to follow what is set out in the EHCP, however you will be expected to explain how you meet their needs, or how their needs have changed.
- An EHCP can be useful when your child is wishing to access exams or further education colleges, or for re-entering school.
The LA are refusing to let us deregister. HELP!
They really can’t refuse if you can provide a suitable education, but we are hearing of many that are trying.
Our suggestion is to contact us if the following doesn’t work.
Follow our deregistration sample, detailing as much as possible about how you will provide a suitable education and how you will meet the child’s needs.
If they refuse, then quote the following (from the EHE guidance) to them and ask them to detail specifically which areas of the home education do they feel will not be suitable:
‘8.6 If a school already attended by a child is a special school and the child is attending it under arrangements made by the local authority, the local authority’s consent is necessary for the child’s name to be removed from the admission register, but this should not be a lengthy or complex process and consent must not be withheld unreasonably. If the child is to be withdrawn to be educated at home then the local authority, in deciding
whether to give consent, should consider whether the home education to be provided would meet the special educational needs of the child, and if it would, should give consent. However, that consideration should take into account the additional difficulties of providing education at home to a child whose special educational needs are significant enough to warrant a place at a special school’
Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment
You can claim DLA/PIP for many children with special needs, also Carer’s Allowance for yourself.
This gives you a little extra to help with the cost of living and Home Educating.
It also relieves the pressure to find work, as you are not expected to look for work and care for your child.
There are many support organisations available to help with filling in forms.